'Potentially looking at 3 homicides,' but police won't know until bodies are removed from scene of house fire
VANCOUVER -- It is not yet known whether all three people found dead at the scene of a house fire in Langley, B.C., are homicide victims, investigators say.
Police officers called to the scene of the fire on Saturday found three bodies at the property on Wakefield Drive near 196 Street.
Video from the scene of the fire, which broke out at around 5:30 p.m. Saturday, showed a home fully engulfed in flames.
IHIT said members of the Langley RCMP discovered a man's body at the back of the house.
He had "injuries consistent with homicide," IHIT's Sgt. Frank Jang said.
He has been identified as a resident of the home, but has not yet been named publicly.
Remains of the other two people were located inside the house, but have not yet been identified. The BC Coroners Service is working to determine the causes of their deaths.
"Now at this point, I know there's many questions regarding the two bodies – the identities – but we haven't confirmed that at this point," Jang said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
"The reason being there is such extensive damage to the home… It is really unsafe."
Jang said a structural assessment needs to be done at the house, but that at some point on Monday, the bodies will be removed.
"We could potentially be looking at three homicides, we just don't know that at this point," he said.
Jang said he expects investigators to remain at the scene at least through the end of the week.
So far, he said, it's unclear whether there's a risk to public safety, as investigators don't know much about what happened, including the causes of death for two of the three deceased.
The cause of the fire has not been provided.
Flames spread to a neighbouring home with a family inside at the time, all six residents were able to get out safely, they told CTV News over the weekend. A third house was also damaged in the fire.
The owner of the home where the fire first started lives in the Interior, according to another person who lives in the area.
Neighbours say a family had been renting it for about three years.
Anyone with information about the fire is asked to call the IHIT information line at 877-551-4448. Tips can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.